The start of 2014 World Cup is just five days away. International teams and their devoted fans will all gather in the country of Brazil to witness the greatest tournament in world football.
But the Spanish will have to wait one more day to see their team compete. Spain’s first match is on June 13. The World Cup holders will be facing the following teams in Group B: Netherlands, Chile, and Australia. Along the way, Spain will travel from north to south on the east coast of Brazil playing in three new or renovated stadiums. Regardless of the cities and stadiums that Spain will play in, the Spanish will face a warm and humid weather.
Arena Fonte Nova
La Furia Roja will have their first match against none other than the Netherlands. The two teams will meet in the newly constructed stadium Arena Fonte Nova. It is located in Salvador, Bahia, next to the South Atlantic Ocean. According to FIFA, the Arena Fonte Nova has an official capacity of 51,708. Since it was constructed on site of the previous Fonte Nova, much of its design resembles that of the old stadium. One of the designs that stands out of the Arena Fonte Nova is the choice to leave one of the ends open on the stadium. This allows for fans to have a beautiful view of the lake just outside of the venue. The quality of the stadium is all new and complete inside and out. FIFA tested and approved the venue in May 2014.
Estadio Jornalista Mario Filho- Maracana
For their second game, the Spanish will have to travel south approximately 1008 miles to Rio de Janeiro. That is a two hour flight from Salvador, Bahia. Spain will face Chile at the infamous Estadio Journalista Mario Filho or better known as the Maracana. Even after reducing its capacity from 200,00 to 74,698, the Maracana remains the biggest football ground.
In order to preserve the historic impression left by 1950 World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay, reconstruction of the stadium was kept internally. The face of the stadium remains as it first looked when it opened in 1950. At the top, a new roof was added with a rainwater collection system that will allow the recycling of water captured from the rainfall. Inside the venue, the lower rings of seats were removed; in its places, new rings of seats with a better view were installed. Estadio Journalista Mario Filho- Maracana officially reopened on 2 June 2013. As of May, FIFA approved the venue ready for next week.
Arena de Baixada
Arena de Baxiada will hold the last group stage match for Spain against Australia. La Furia Roja will have their shortest travel (one hour and 30 minute flight) in the group stage from Rio de Janeiro to Curitiba, Parana. Curitiba is 523 miles further down from Rio de Janeiro but remains on the coast of Brazil.
Although the venue has only been opened for a little over a decade, FIFA asked for a redevelopment of the stadium so it would comply with FIFA requirements. The primary task in the renovation was in the capacity and arrangement of the seating in the stadium. Unfortunately, Arena de Baixada has yet to be opened. As of 15 May 2014, Arena Baixada still had missing seats. No renovations were needed in the looks of the stadium. It was more about regulations than design. However, FIFA tested and approved Arena de Baixada. Whether this is confidence that the stadium will be finished or mere hope, we have to trust that the most modern stadium in Brazil will be finished in less than five days.